My daughter devours books, and at 3 years old, her book collection has far surpassed my own (sad but true!). Since we spend a lot of our time reading, and I’m often asked for kid-centic suggestions on toys, books and the latest and greatest childrens doodads, I’ve decided to make a list of our top ten best books for 3-year olds…and here it is!
“Iggy Peck, Architect” by Andrea Beaty
I absolutely LOVE this book. “Iggy Peck, Architect” is about a boy that has loved building/architecture since he was in diapers. This adorable story is cute, funny and fun to read. My daughter loves the illustration of the mad neighbor (mad, after baby Iggy’s dirt replica of the great Sphinx, results in wayward dirt clods flung in his general direction…). After someone tells Iggy that his passion for building is unimportant, he proves them wrong and ends up saving the day.
“The Incredible Book Eating Boy” by Oliver Jeffers
This is currently my favorite book to read to my 3-year old. It’s unusual story line, great illustrations, interesting layout and cute twist at the end, make for a family favorite. “The Incredible Book Eating Boy” wants to be the smartest person in the world and I think that is a pretty great thing that kids should want to emulate.
“Surfer Chick” by Kristy Dempsey
I happened upon this book while in California and bought it on a whim without reading the story first. I love that “Surfer Chick” is a tale of a girl and her dad, and that it’s a bit of a coming of age tale about persistence and the greatest sport in the world: surfing. The illustrations are cute and the rhyming story of this surfer chick learning to surf like her dad is fun to read and listen to.
“The Snail and The Whale” by Julia Donaldson
I bought this great book for my daughter while on St John (an island in the caribbean), and absolutely love the story of a snail that wants to travel and see the amazing world. There is also a good lesson packed into “The Snail and The Whale” story about being able to make a difference no matter how small you may feel in comparison to this big world.
“You’re Not So Scary, Sid!” by Sam Lloyd
This book was a gift from family friends in Vermont and while it was probably purchased because our daughters nickname is Syd, it has turned out to be a favorite of pretty much any 2 – 5 year old that I’ve read it to. This book has a built in puppet that goes along with the story and this fun childrens story teaches to not judge a book by its cover and to be compassionate.
“Room On The Broom” by Julia Donaldson
I bought “Room On The Broom” because it was written by the same author as “The Snail and The Whale”, and I was pleasantly surprised that my daughter and I enjoyed this book as much (or more!) as “The Snail and The Whale”. This is a story of a friendly witch, making friends on her journey, who just so happen to help her out (using teamwork) after a run in with a hungry dragon.
“I Can Save The Ocean!” by Alison Inches
This is a book I picked up while in Saint Thomas and my daughter really likes this one. “I Can Save The Ocean” is a cute tale of a little green monster that doesn’t know any better than to leave his litter on the beach, until he learns through experience that litter makes things he enjoys ugly, and he sets off to learn more about how he can help save the ocean by developing better habits. This book also has a small glossary of “green” words (such as “biodegradable”) that kids probably hear often and could use a kid-friendly description of.
“Me…Jane” by Patrick McDonnell
This adorable book is a simple, kids-version of how Dr. Jane Goodall (environmentalist, humanitarian and United Nations Messenger of Peace) grew up to realize her dreams of living a life being one with nature. The illustrations in “Me…Jane”, which are also by the author, who is the creator of the popular comic strip “Mutts”, make this book as fun to look at, as it is to read.
“Library Lion” by Michelle Knudsen
A cute story about a lion that wandered into a library one day, and decides that he wants to stay. “Library Lion” tells a substantial tale about following the rules, but also that it’s sometimes okay to break them too. The lovable lion in this book makes my heart melt and the muted color palate of the illustrations are a nice change from the typical bright/bold, cartoony drawings that are popular in children’s books nowadays.
“We Were Tired of Living in a House” by Liesel Moak Skorpen
The story of a family of children that decided that they were fed up with their parents rules (and living in a house) and set out to live in various other locations…like a tree! Or a cave! This is actually a book that was read to me as a child and was given to me by my mom to read to my daughter. I’m pretty sure it was the influence of this book (as well as the “Pippi Longstockings” movies) that shaped my think-outside-the-box-and-go-live-in-a-tree attitude. This book was first published in 1969, and I think there is a newer version, but I prefer the artful illustrations in the original.
So there you have it! My tried and true favorite books for kids/toddlers in the 3-year old age range (these books are actually great for 2 – 4 year-olds, in my opinion). Do you have any favorite kids books to add? Let me know and leave a comment with your recommendations below! We are always looking for cool new books to add to Sydney’s library.